“The Lord . . . makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever.” —Psalm 33:10-11
If your life is anything like mine, it’s pretty well planned out. I have everything in my calendar that reminds me of appointments, meetings, and other “to-do” items. Inevitably, interruptions change my day dramatically; and while they can be frustrating, they also can be productive.
Some of the great advances in God’s plans have come through “interruptions” to the normal routine. Take Mary, for example. An angel interrupted her life with the announcement that she would have a son named Jesus. Since she was a virgin and engaged to be married, this news was undoubtedly shocking and deeply troubling (Luke 1:26-31). And Saul, the Jewish zealot who persecuted early Christians, was on his way to Damascus to arrest more followers of “the Way” when he was blinded by Jesus Himself (Acts 9:1-9). This life-changing interruption had huge implications for the future of Christianity.
The psalmist reminds us that the Lord can make “the plans of the peoples of no effect” (Ps. 33:10). Yet all too often we respond to the interruptions of our well-ordered lives with attitudes like frustration, irritation, fear, and doubt. God’s surprises in our day are full of opportunities. Let’s welcome them as a new “to-do list” from Him.
Lord, if I’m feeling rushed today,
I need Your eyes to help me see
That when an interruption comes,
It is an opportunity. —Sper
Application: Look for God’s purpose in your next interruption. (Our Daily Bread)
Fact: You are not a mistake!
Fact: The Lord has a purpose and a plan for your life (Jer. 29:11).
Fact: You are to live on mission.
You reply: Ok, but how? What does a missional life look like?
That’s a great answer! Allow me to share with you 10 ways you can live a missional life without adding anything to your calendar.
1. Eat with other people
We all eat 3 meals a day. That’s 21 opportunities for church and mission each week without adding anything new to your schedule. Meals are a powerful expression of welcome and community.
2. Work in public places
Hold meetings, prepare talks, read in public spaces like cafes and parks. It will naturally help you engage with the culture as work or plan. For example, whose questions do you want to address in your Bible studies – those of professional exegetes or those of the culture?
3. Be a regular
Adopt a local café, park and shops so you regularly visit and become known as a local. Imagine if everyone in your church community did this!
4. Join in with what’s going on
Churches often start their own thing like a coffee shop or homeless program. Instead, join existing initiatives – you don’t have the burden of running it and you get opportunities with co-workers.
5. Leave the house in the evenings
It’s so easy after a long day on a dark evening to slump in front of the television or surf the internet. Get out! Visit a friend. Take a cake to a neighbor. Attend a local group. Go to the movies. Hang out in a café. Go for a walk with a friend. It doesn’t matter where as long as you go with Gospel intentionality. Continue reading